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ICC Note: After decades of persecution and rule by a military government, it appears that Burma is taking genuine steps towards reform. Meanwhile many of the ethnic groups who have experienced untold amounts of persecution, some for their faith in Christianity, are seeing both a growing strength in their faith and a growing number of people following after Christ. 
08/23/2012 Burma (MNN) – In a tightly-controlled nation riddled with severe human rights violations, even the smallest of reforms is a step forward, right?
But Dyann Romeijn with Vision Beyond Borders is waiting to see how Burma’s latest press reforms will play out for people affected most by the country’s violence: over 500,000 ethnic refugees. The last time MNN spoke with Vision Beyond Borders about Burma’s reforms, it was about the negative side effects inflicted upon refugees. Would press reforms cause the same problems?
“It’s hard to say at this point,” Romeijn states. “A lot of times the government is closing off areas where the violence and stuff is. So I don’t know that the [refugees] would have access to the press. That remains to be seen.”

On a positive note, the horrendous trials suffered by Burma’s ethnic groups are working to fortify believers and further the spread of the Gospel. Approximately 70% of each the Karen and Kachin people groups follow Christ and proclaim Him as Lord.
“In those ethnic groups, Christianity is spreading; it’s continuing to grow,” Romeijn reports. “And through the persecution, what we’re seeing is a strengthening of their faith. They’re just resolute; they’re becoming solid in their beliefs.”
Romeijn says the biggest contribution you can make is this: prayer.
“That’s probably the most important thing people can do,” she emphasizes. “All the money in the world will not solve the problems in Burma. They’re too deep.
“Only God can touch and reform hearts, and so it truly is through prayer that we’ll see a change there.”

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